Bandmember Wilson Savoy says he and his roommates, Jon Bertrand and Cedric Watson, along with Drew Simon, have been playing Cajun music on campus since August ' usually with fiddle, guitar, accordion and t'fer. The acoustic quartet has performed on the corner of Rex Street and St. Mary Boulevard.
"We live near campus," says Savoy. "We like playing music, and the people like it. We go out there when there's nice weather to make a few bucks, but we're not begging for money. That's one of the nice things about Lafayette; the music is what it's all about."
While the group performs, there's an open case for passersby to part with their spare change. "People thrown in money," Savoy says. "We don't ask them. We make, on average, $10 a day." On the afternoon of March 23, The Pine Leaf Boys had netted $5 and had been playing for about five minutes when a UL Police car with its lights flashing pulled up to the curb.
An officer approached the group. "He said, 'Stop the noise. There's a complaint from the dean of students that there was noise on campus,'" says Savoy. "And he said, 'That's the same reason that we don't let bums beg for money on the street. So if y'all want to do it, y'all have to get a permit.' And yada, yada, yada. It was pretty offensive, so we packed up and left."
Pat Cottonham, UL associate dean of students, says her office received a complaint about loud music and adds that the band wasn't registered for an activity on campus, which is required by her office. "We didn't know there was supposed to be a band," she says. "People can't just set up and be on campus." Cottonham says The Pine Leaf Boys also didn't have a permit from Lafayette Consolidated Government to perform. She adds, "They were in a quiet zone, 20 feet away from an academic building where science classes were going on." (Montgomery Hall, the school's chemistry building, sits on the same corner.)
Cottonham also claims that university police had paid The Boys a visit about the noise a week earlier, a claim that Savoy flatly denies. Cottonham also says that the officer denies making a reference to "bums." Calls placed to the UL Police department were unreturned as of press time.
It was the first time the dean's office had received a complaint about the music, according to Cottonham. "But if someone calls and complains, then we look into it," she says. "I wouldn't understand how a band would be able to be there since August ' in a high traffic area ' and not be noticed."
Dean of Students Edward Pratt says the UL Police have informed him that The Pine Leaf Boys had been previously warned. "These are probably a bunch of nice kids," he says, "and I wish they would have come up to us, talked to us and said, 'Dean Pratt, we want to play music.'"
"I guess we're just not going to do it anymore," Savoy says. "It was kind of like a slap in the face. We weren't doing it for the money, by any means. In a way, we just wanted to raise the morale of the UL experience. A lot of people take tours [of the campus] and a lot of students are out there. The only thing that differentiates this campus from LSU is live Cajun music, right here in Lafayette. We're supposed to be the Cajun heartland of Louisiana, and UL is supposed to be the Ragin' Cajuns, but they made us stop playing. I thought it was just pitiful, especially when we're on a street where they've got trucks driving by, at 100 decibels, blowing out their rap and crap."
"I'm disappointed that they feel they weren't treated fairly," Cottonham says. "We want to be seen as a friendly campus, but there are rules and procedures to follow. This wasn't the first warning given to them, and I would like to talk to them about what our rules and regulations are for coming on the campus. I'm sure that there's a reasonable way for us to have a dialogue about this."
But along with scraping their afternoon matinees, The Pine Leaf Boys don't intend to speak with university officials over registering their activity or securing a permit from consolidated government.
"No, of course not," Savoy says. "We didn't think we needed a permit, and we still don't."
Thursday's Blogs from the Bog!
Women sue over sperm mix-up; Romney on campaign trail; Ebola patient was released from hospital and more national and international news for Thursday, October 02, 2014.
State Rep. Joel Robideaux, R-Lafayette, surprised few in the Hub City Wednesday afternoon when he made (semi) official what most of us have known for months: He is running to replace Joey Durel as city-parish president.
Louisiana's first black Republican state senator since Reconstruction — who was a Republican before he was a Democrat before he was a Republican again — is accusing Democratic U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu of using the black community for votes and providing nothing in return.
LSU's governing board has backed new hospital privatization contracts that give hospital managers greater ease to leave the deal and fewer restrictions about must-have services.
U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu is courting young voters in several appearances across Louisiana this week, talking about her support for legislation that could lower students' college costs.
Stage 4 vet takes on cancer and reminds us all what it really means to get involved.
Is Mary fading as Vitter solidifies his lock on the fourth floor?
Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration has renegotiated contracts for six LSU hospital privatization deals, hoping to reach a compromise with federal health officials that will keep Medicaid dollars flowing to the privatized patient services.
Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu is defending her record on gun rights, seeking to rebut sharp criticism from the NRA in a state where the right to bear arms is given special constitutional protection.
Citizens, you have less than a week to register to vote in the Nov. 4 election. Remember, if you don’t vote you can’t complain about the outcome. Well, you can but it’s kind of hypocritical.
After being forced out by its former landlords last year, the community garden has a new location and a 10-year lease.
The party says it has hit a milestone, reaching 10,000 registered voters in the state.
Defensive captain Junior Galette is disgusted by the Saints' sluggish start.
The use of $60 million in Louisiana's public school financing formula to pay for nearly three dozen charter schools violates the state constitution, a statewide teachers' union claimed Monday in a lawsuit.
February trial date indicates parties were unable to negotiate a settlement.
There was a time when United Ballot had a political stranglehold so tight on Lafayette’s black community it was nearly unbreakable, but that grip might be loosening.
The race for Lafayette city marshal may not be the most exciting of this year’s local political contests, but it could prove the most historic.
With the DA’s race too close to call and negative media coverage of Mike Harson on the ebb, will challenger Keith Stutes take the gloves off?
Gov. Bobby Jindal has been viewed as a health care policy wonk, and he's tried to build on that image ahead of a likely 2016 presidential campaign, positioning himself as the candidate with substantive ideas.
Jerry Jones watched what he called the best effort he's seen in 25 years as owner of the Dallas Cowboys in the first half, and that was before Tony Romo had the longest scramble of his career and DeMarco Murray finished off yet another 100-yard game.
Two of the most recognizable women in Republican politics, Sarah Palin and Mary Matalin, have been heavily involved in Louisiana’s current election cycle.
Even though the Louisiana Democratic Party has thrown its support behind former Gov. Edwin Edwards’ congressional bid, national Democrats are not expected to follow suit.
“[Mike] is no longer the energetic ADA that his recent ad is trying to portray. I just think Mike needs to get the hell out.” — Kermit Harson, DA Mike Harson’s brother
The New Orleans Saints have listed Jonathan Goodwin as questionable for Sunday night's game in Dallas, raising the prospect that second-year pro Tim Lelito will start at center for the first time.